CRICKET SOUTH AFRICA (CSA) today paid tribute to the country’s founding president, Nelson Mandela, who passed away at his Johannesburg home on Thursday evening at the age of 95.
“As part of the greater South African family of former president Nelson Mandela, CSA expresses its sincere condolences to the family of Madiba, to the nation and the world,” commented CSA President Chris Nenzani.
“CSA has learned with great sadness of the passing of this icon of our times. Mandela played a pivotal role in the liberation of the people of our country from the injustices of the apartheid system. A democratic South Africa owes its success to Mandela and that great generation of leaders who were his peers. The sporting world will remember him for his tireless efforts at uniting the various sporting codes in order to create a proud and united South African sporting front.
“CSA joins people all over the world in wishing the Mandela family peace and comfort during this difficult time. His life must teach us to be of service to those who are in less fortunate positions than us. In doing so we shall have paid an eternal tribute to this great man. His life brought hope, stability and progress for our country. While he lived he remained a source of encouragement for all and in death his living memory will be the moral compass for this country and many generations to come.
“If those who are in positions of leadership at different levels of society could only be a fraction of what Mandela was, South Africa and indeed the world would be a better place.
“His love for sport and his appreciation of what it could do to unify the country is legendary. He was a keen amateur boxer in his youth but he loved all sporting codes across the board and in it he saw the foundations for a healthy future for all the youth of the country.
“Nothing assuredly gave him greater pleasure than being part of the team that brought the Fifa World Cup to South Africa in 2010 and seeing what a wonderful celebration of sport, comradeship and humanity the tournament was.
“CSA dedicates the current series against the Indian team to the memory of Mandela.”
Nelson Mandela, speaking on the occasion of the International Fair Play awards, Pretoria, South Africa, 25 June 1997:
“Who could doubt that sport is a crucial window for the propagation of fair play and justice? After all, fair play is a value that is essential to sport.......Reconstruction and reconciliation, nation-building and development must go hand in hand. In this process sport is a great force for unity and reconciliation.”